Of the nine planets
chronologically Ketu figures last. Like Rahu, Ketu is a planet in shadow and the
reflection they cast during the eclipse is referred to as Umbra-Penumbra. However, the
western astrological texts do not acknowledge the presence of these planets.
A detailed reference to ketu is found in
Mahaabhaaratha, Bhaagavatha puraana Brahmaa vaivartha puraana and Matsya puraana. Like
Rahu, Ketu is also a descendant of the demon clan and forms the nether part of Rahu. As
the cosmic ocean is churned, elixir emerges and Lord Vishnu in the form of Mohini favours
the distribution only to the angels. Seeing this, Rahu shifts to the line of the angels.
The sun and the moon notice that and inform the same to Lord Vishnu. Mohini then beheads
Rahu but by then the trickle of elixir keeps the nether part of Rahu alive and thus Ketu
Viprachitti and Simhika
are the parents of Ketu. Simhika is the sister of Hiranyakashyapa, father of Prahlada.
There is another story that traces Ketus origin to Brahmas creation of Mrityu.
It is said Lord Brahma mulled over the growing population and out of that thought, Mrityu
emerged. Mriytyu was ordered to be on the killing spree, as she obviously did not like her
task shed tears. Ketu is said to have been born out of those tears and Brahma named him
Dhumaketu ordering him to cause both joy and sorrow to people.
The two-armed, black-robed and reddish
black Ketu with a crown on the head is said to be a cruel planet. He sports Varamudra in
one hand and mace in the other. He mounts an eagle though some books refer to pigeon as
his vehicle. Residing in his bow shaped Adharabhoomi in Navagraha, he faces north - west.
The six inch bodied Ketu belongs to Jaimini gotra, his adhidevatha is Chitrakethu and
pratyadhidevata is Brahma. He was born on a new moon day on Tuesday in the year Keelaka
during Margashira when the star Moola was in the ascent. (Some books mention his birth in
the year Raakshasa during Chaitra maasa when the star Revathi was in the ascent.)
Ketu presides over Ashwini, Makha and
Mula nakshatras. Rahu and Ketu often pester the Sun and the Moon. If the Sun and the other
planets rotate in clock- wise direction, Rahu and Ketu move in anti- clock wise. According
to Jaataka pala Manjari, Rahu and Ketu are 100 years old and Ketu is said to be an
impotent planet. Cats eye is the precious stone worn to appease Ketu and horse gram
should be given away to win his favour.
Ketus period runs for seven years
and alike Rahu, this planet too is non- stationary. Ketu resides for a period of 18 months
in each zodiac sign and his mahardasha lasts for 7years.Dhanush raasi is the most benefit
position and Mithuna raasi is malefic to Ketu. He is the native of Meena raasi. Rahu and
Ketu never reside in the same houses.
Positive effects of Ketu: He
presides over intellectual acumen, enthusiasm, materialistic pleasures, friendship,
wisdom, spiritual thoughts, philosophy, salvation, renunciation and interest in other
Ill effectes: Misdeeds, danger,
anarchy, air accidents, rebellion, loss in wealth, spinal problems, untimely death, mental
imbalance and fire accidents are some of the ill effects of Ketu.
Ketu likes sacred grass, flowers, red
lotuses, horse gram, mustard-powder, cow-milk, dates, pineapple, sugar, seven-wick lamp,
mid-night prayers, pepper, iron, neem and yam to mention a few. Seven is his favourite
number and he should be worshipped on Tuesdays and Sundays. The Beejaakshara Mantra for
"OM SRAAM SREEM SROUM SAHA KETAVE
The ordinary mantra is:
"OM KAYM KETAVE NAMAHA"
Other texts refer to Kethu mantra as:
"HREEM KROOM KRURAROOPINAY KETAVE
IM SOUHU SWAAHAA"
Any of these mantras is equally
In astrology, Rahu gives Kujas
results and Ketu gives Sanis results. In the orbit, when in 3,6,11 positions, Ketu
yields good results. Ketu is friendly with Sun, Moon and Jupiter and malefic with Venus
and Saturn. The evil effects of Ketu can be warded off by offering food to the vedic
In the zodiac, Rahu and Ketu are
positioned in opposite directions. Of the two, if one teams up with the moon and the other
with the sun, Lunar eclipse occurs. If the sun and the moon are in the same house and if
either Rahu or Ketu teams up with them, then occurs the Solar-eclipse. Rahu and Ketu are
planets in shadow.
One cannot rule out their existence,
eventhough they are not visible. Indian astrologers took them into reckoning and
calculated the celestial moments to their right precision without any external supports
like telescope. Indian astrology without Rahu and Ketu should have been a half-baked one.
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